Are There Any Moral Absolutes?

SirJosephPorter
#121
The examples are endless, but the point is that while various religions may share some overlapping values, many of their fundamental beliefs cannot be squared. It may make people feel better to pretend that all religions are essentially the same, but this concept is demonstrably false.

That is exactly the problem alley, the concept is not demonstrably false. Prove to me that all the religions except Christianity are false religions, you cannot. So what is wrong with regarding all the religions as essentially the same?

It is all superstition nonsense anyway (at least in my opinion), but if we regard all the religions as essentially the same and if most people come to accept it, it will go a long way towards eliminating the religious strife in the world. Anything that one can say about religion is improvable. But at least this viewpoint has the potential of reducing the warfare, the strife carried out in the name of religion.
 
Cliffy
#122
Or, Joan of Arc was a religious fruit loop like some of the republicans.
 
SirJosephPorter
#123
How do you know you haven't come across the truth? Are you so enlightened that you know it all?

Alley, the truth in this case is unknowable, so there is nothing wrong in saying that one hasn’t come across the truth. Indeed, that is the problem with religion, afterlife etc. Since we cannot know the truth, almost anything that anyone says is equally valid to anything else.

But there is no moral imperative that we adopt the notion that all beliefs systems are equally true. There is a moral imperative that we do NOT.

There is also no moral imperative to assume that any one set of beliefs is the absolute truth. The absolute truth is unknowable.

Quote:
People have the right to go to heaven or hell as they choose.

Why would anyone want to go to hell?

You would be surprised. In fact, if Fundamentalist version of Heaven is the true version, I would much prefer to go to Hell.

According to Fundamentalists, people like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Ronald Reagan, Dr. Dobson (Focus on the Family) will go to Heaven. I cannot stand these people in this life, why would I want to spend an eternity with them?

On the other hand, who is in Hell? Plato, Socrates, Archimedes, Einstein, Galileo, most of the scientists and philosophers, prominent writers like H.G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, Arthur Clarke, Margaret Atwood etc.

Or if Islam is the true religion, then people like Osama Ben Laden, Mohammed Atta, Mullah Mohammed Omar (leader of the Taliban) will be in the Heaven. Then why would I want to go to Heaven?

To me, Hell looks like a much more interesting place than Heaven (Fundamentalist Heaven anyway). I would prefer to go to Hell.
 
Cliffy
#124
I know of hundreds of books and videos that have debunked the authenticity and historical accuracy of the bible. There is no way to prove anything from such a flawed document and yet believers will defend to the death their right to say that their god exist and is the only true god based solely on the "bible tells me so" argument. There is no way to reason with them or debate them because they will not accept the facts presented if they don't fit into their blind faith.
 
SirJosephPorter
#125
Quote: Originally Posted by CliffyView Post

Or, Joan of Arc was a religious fruit loop like some of the republicans.

Maybe so, Cliffy, but she was able to amass a large following, almost unheard of feat for a woman in those days.

And if she wanted to become a leader, it made very good sense to tell people that she had visions from God. Without those visions, she would have lived and died a peasant girl in rural France. But since people accepted her story of visions from God, she became a leader, achieved fame and glory (she also came to an unfortunate end, but that is a different issue). Even today she is glorified as a Saint by the Catholic church.

In my opinion, she was a brilliant strategist, a skilful politician, a great leader. Telling people that she saw visions from God (even though false) does not make her a liar. It makes her an astute judge of human nature.
 
darkbeaver
#126
Never **** in your own nest.
 
darkbeaver
#127
Quote: Originally Posted by SirJosephPorterView Post

Maybe so, Cliffy, but she was able to amass a large following, almost unheard of feat for a woman in those days.

And if she wanted to become a leader, it made very good sense to tell people that she had visions from God. Without those visions, she would have lived and died a peasant girl in rural France. But since people accepted her story of visions from God, she became a leader, achieved fame and glory (she also came to an unfortunate end, but that is a different issue). Even today she is glorified as a Saint by the Catholic church.

In my opinion, she was a brilliant strategist, a skilful politician, a great leader. Telling people that she saw visions from God (even though false) does not make her a liar. It makes her an astute judge of human nature.

You're making an exception at odds with the evidence (even though false). I suggest you run for public office.
 
Cliffy
#128
Quote: Originally Posted by SirJosephPorterView Post

Telling people that she saw visions from God (even though false) does not make her a liar. It makes her an astute judge of human nature.

I have no doubt she had visions, though they may have been caused by Ergot, which was quite common in those days.
 
SirJosephPorter
#129
Quote: Originally Posted by CliffyView Post

I have no doubt she had visions, though they may have been caused by Ergot, which was quite common in those days.

I don’t know Cliffy. Even if she had visions, how would she have visions only about God? If the visions were a result of some drug, I would expect her to have all kinds of visions, not just the ones that tell her that she is an emissary of God.

In my opinion, it is much more likely that she fabricated them, that it was a convenient lie to get the masses to accept her leadership (which they would never have done without the visions).
 
Cliffy
#130
Quote: Originally Posted by SirJosephPorterView Post

I don’t know Cliffy. Even if she had visions, how would she have visions only about God? If the visions were a result of some drug, I would expect her to have all kinds of visions, not just the ones that tell her that she is an emissary of God.

In my opinion, it is much more likely that she fabricated them, that it was a convenient lie to get the masses to accept her leadership (which they would never have done without the visions).

The only problem with that is that she was supposedly a peasant girl, so she would have been uneducated, heavily indoctrinated into the catholic church and not smart enough to make it up. Her visions, from what I understand, were rather cryptic and concerned angels and demons as well as Jesus and god. They were akin to Revelations (apocalyptic) in nature, so I think she may have been delusional but believed what she said about her visions.

Ergot is a rye mold and has been responsible for many mass hallucinations throughout Europe during the early to mid millennium.
 
SirJosephPorter
#131
The only problem with that is that she was supposedly a peasant girl, so she would have been uneducated, heavily indoctrinated into the catholic church and not smart enough to make it up.

Cliffy, she was uneducated, that means that she lacked knowledge. That does not necessarily mean that she lacked wisdom. There are many poorly educated or uneducated people who are worldwise, who have common sense, brains that may not be found among the educated.

Just because somebody is uneducated does not mean that he or she is dumb. Joan of Arc could be highly intelligent, very brainy (and still be illiterate). If she was highly intelligent, she was quite capable of figuring out that telling people that she had revelations was a sure fire way to get them to accept her as their leader. She did not need education for that.

Education denotes the level of knowledge. However, intelligence, wisdom are totally different attributes which even an illiterate may possess.
 
SirJosephPorter
#132
Ergot is a rye mold and has been responsible for many mass hallucinations throughout Europe during the early to mid millennium.

Cliffy, may be ergot was responsible for the resurrection of Jesus (where a mob of people claimed to have seen Jesus resurrected).
 
Cliffy
#133
Quote: Originally Posted by SirJosephPorterView Post

Ergot is a rye mold and has been responsible for many mass hallucinations throughout Europe during the early to mid millennium.

Cliffy, may be ergot was responsible for the resurrection of Jesus (where a mob of people claimed to have seen Jesus resurrected).

They may still be hallucinating.
 
Cliffy
#134
Quote: Originally Posted by SirJosephPorterView Post


Education denotes the level of knowledge. However, intelligence, wisdom are totally different attributes which even an illiterate may possess.

It wasn't my intention to say uneducated meant stupid. So I agree and I have met a lot of "degrees" who were dumb as a post.
 
JLM
#135
Quote: Originally Posted by CliffyView Post

It wasn't my intention to say uneducated meant stupid. So I agree and I have met a lot of "degrees" who were dumb as a post.

You just ain't whistling Dixie there, Cliff. I worked with one guy who was near the top in intelligence but as far as wisdom went was as dumb as a sack of hammers. just never knew when to shut up.
 
In Between Man
#136
Quote: Originally Posted by CliffyView Post

First of all, in the original Greek texts, Jesus said, I am a son of god and that we are all children of god.

Quote:

He never claimed he was The Son of God.

Completely false Cliffy. This whole time you had us believing that you had mastered the study of all major religions and paths, and yet you don't seem to know the bible.
Perhaps no claim is more direct than Jesus’ response to Caiaphas’s pointblank interrogation:


“Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?”
“I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the
right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?”
he asked. “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” They all condemned him as worthy of death (Mark 14:61-64).

Notice that Jesus responded to the direct question with a direct answer: “I am.” Referring to himself as the “Son of Man,” Jesus then added that he would be coming back on the clouds of heaven. Caiaphas and his onlookers knew the implication. This was a reference to the vision the Old Testament prophet Daniel had of the end times: the Messiah --the Son of Man-- will come to earth to judge the world on the authority given to him by God the Father, and all the world’s people will worship him (Dan. 7:13). Of course, no one is to be worshiped but God himself. Yet here was Christ claiming that he would be the one to judge the world and receive worship from its people. He was claiming to be God, and everyone knew it.

While Matthew, Mark, and Luke all record the “I am” response to Caiaphas, John tells of another occasion where Jesus claims deity by answering, “I am.” This occurs during a tense exchange with some Jews. After several volleys back and forth about the true identity of Jesus, the conversation culminates with Jesus declaring to the Pharisees,

“Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”
“You are not yet fifty years old,” the Jews said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!”
“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds (John 8:56-59).

You and other skeptics might say, “‘Before Abraham was born, I am!’ is not even good English! It’s the wrong tense.” Exactly. Jesus isn’t worried about grammar because he’s quoting the very name God gave to Moses at the burning bush. Do you remember the movie The Ten Commandments? What did Moses (played by Charlton Heston) do when he encountered the burning bush? He asked God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God then said to Moses,

“I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you’” (Ex. 3:13-14). I AM is the self-existent One. He has no past or future because he is eternal. He’s not in time. Jesus was claiming to be that eternal, self-existent
One, and that’s why the Jews picked up stones to stone him.


For those who continue to say, “No, Jesus never claimed to be God,” I have a question: If Jesus didn’t claim to be God, then why was he killed? Jesus’ crucifixion, which is probably the most well-attested fact from all of ancient history, is difficult to explain unless he claimed to be God.

The unbelieving Jews certainly knew he claimed to be God. On several occasions they picked up stones to stone him for blasphemy. Why was it obvious to first-century people that Jesus claimed to be God, but it’s not obvious to some present-day skeptics?

Quote:

Look at the early christian writings and see for yourself; they did not believe in his deity until Constantine made it part of the bible.

The New Testament writers don’t just say that Jesus performed miracles and rose from the dead--they actually back up that testimony with dramatic action. First, virtually overnight they abandon many of their long held sacred beliefs and practices. Among the 1,500-year-old-plus institutions they give up are the following:

-The animal sacrifice system—they replace it forever by the one perfect sacrifice of Christ.

-The binding supremacy of the Law of Moses—they say it’s powerless because of the sinless life of Christ.

-Strict monotheism—they now worship Jesus, the God-man, despite the fact that 1) their most cherished belief has been, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one” (Deut. 6:4); and 2) man-worship has always been considered blasphemy and punishable by death.

-The Sabbath—they no longer observe it even though they’ve always believed that breaking the Sabbath was punishable by death (Ex. 31:14).

-Belief in a conquering Messiah—Jesus is the opposite of a conquering Messiah. He’s a sacrificial lamb (at least on his first visit!).

Moreover, his disciples, who spent three years with him day and night, claimed that Jesus was sinless:

- Peter characterized Jesus as an “unblemished and spotless” lamb (1 Pet. 1:19, NASB) “who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth”
(1 Pet. 2:22, NASB).

- John said of Christ, “in Him there is no sin”. (1 John 3:5)

- Paul wrote that Jesus “knew no sin”. (2 Cor. 5:21)

- The writer of Hebrews made the same point by claiming that Jesus was “without sin”. (Heb. 4:15)

Now, you try spending three days with any human being—much less three years—and you definitely will find faults. The New Testament writers said Jesus had none.
But it wasn’t just his friends who affirmed his supreme character. Christ’s enemies couldn’t find fault with him either. The Pharisees, who were actively searching for dirt on Jesus, could find none (Mark 14:55).

They even admitted that Jesus taught “the way of God in accordance with the truth” (Mark 12:14). Even after all the efforts of the Pharisees to pin some charge on Jesus, Pilate found him innocent of any wrongdoing (Luke 23:22).

This, not to mention Cliffy the many, many, indirect claims that Jesus made about his deity like:

“I am the first and the last” (Rev. 1:17)—precisely the words used by God of himself in Isaiah 44:6, etc.

Quote:

You want to believe in absolutes, fine.

That's why the avatar's black and white!

Quote:

But your beliefs and arguments are meaningless to me and the great majority of the human population.

How can God breaking into history be meaningless? Its only seemingly meaningless to you because of your willful blindness.
Last edited by In Between Man; Jul 7th, 2009 at 11:48 PM..Reason: d
 
AnnaG
#137
It just struck me as I started to read what, Alley said.

Quote:

“Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?”
“I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the
right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

So either this Jesus person (if he existed at all) had multiple personality disorder, or else as the son of the "blessed one" is the son of man, man and the "blessed one" must be one in the same. There's evidence right from the Bible that man invented the entire issue. Man made god in his own image.
But that's aside from the thread topic. If there is such a thing as a moral absolute, then it's as well-hidden as any evidence for the existences of gods and the tooth fairy.
 
In Between Man
#138
Quote: Originally Posted by Dexter SinisterView Post

If you'd grown up in Pakistan you'd almost certainly be Muslim, and just as sure of your beliefs as you are now. Eanassir is just as certain you're wrong as you are that he is. How can those differences be settled?


That's another broad generalization. First of all, there are most certainly atheists and Christians all across the globe, including Pakistan. Just because there is a higher ratio of one belief system in this corner of the globe, and another in this corner is fairly insignifgant. We're bound to family at birth, my father's a muslim and this what I'm exposed to etc.

Second, people in Pakistan have free minds and intelligence, they all know the claims of Christianity, and either choose it or reject it. Your actually undermining the intelligence of the average Pakistani. Like I said, they do have intelligence, but, as my third point, we don't know exactly what's it's like to be born into this type culture. I suspect that a very large percent of "muslims", in their brains, are actually agnostic. Questions about Islam, about Christianity, about atheism. It's only to due strict social-psycho structure that they pay lip service to their flawed religion.
Last edited by In Between Man; Jul 8th, 2009 at 12:13 AM..Reason: f
 
In Between Man
#139
Quote: Originally Posted by AnnaGView Post

If there is such a thing as a moral absolute, then it's as well-hidden as any evidence for the existences of gods and the tooth fairy.

Is it wrong to torture babies? Is it wrong to sexually exploit a child?

Straight across the board. Yes or No?

Let me check with the moral standard within. Um...yup, unequivocally wrong.
 
In Between Man
#140
The atheistic view asserts that only materials exist, but materials don’t have morality. How much does hate weigh? Is there an atom for love? What’s the chemical composition of the murder molecule? These questions are meaningless because physical particles are not responsible for morality. If materials are solely responsible for morality, then Hitler had no real moral responsibility for what he did—he just had bad molecules. This is nonsense, and everyone knows it. Human thoughts and transcendent moral laws are not material things any more than the laws of logic and mathematics are material things. They are immaterial entities that cannot be weighed or physically measured. As a result, they can’t be explained in material terms by natural selection or any other atheistic means.
 
In Between Man
#141
Quote: Originally Posted by AnnaGView Post

If there is such a thing as a moral absolute, then it's as well-hidden as any evidence for the existences of gods and the tooth fairy.

Here's a really good one AnnaG!!!

Is it wrong to suppress AnnaG's freedom of Speech????!!!!

Checkmate.
 
Dexter Sinister
#142
Quote: Originally Posted by alleywayzalwayzView Post

That's another broad generalization. First of all, there are most certainly atheists and Christians all across the globe, including Pakistan. Just because there is a higher ratio of one belief system in this corner of the globe, and another in this corner is fairly insignifgant.

Insignificant?! It's at the very heart of the issue. Religious belief is very specific to culture, religions claim to have absolute moral authority handed down from on high, yet they differ significantly in the details. They cannot possibly all be absolutely right, and the simplest explanation is that none of them are, they're all simply human inventions that reflect and reinforce existing social conditions and values. Religious justifications for ethics and morality are just post hoc rationalizations for things that already existed.
 
In Between Man
#143
Quote: Originally Posted by Dexter SinisterView Post

Insignificant?! It's at the very heart of the issue. Religious belief is very specific to culture, religions claim to have absolute moral authority handed down from on high, yet they differ significantly in the details. They cannot possibly all be absolutely right, and the simplest explanation is that none of them are, they're all simply human inventions that reflect and reinforce existing social conditions and values. Religious justifications for ethics and morality are just post hoc rationalizations for things that already existed.

Although me to rephrase. It's not as significant as the average free mind. "Does God exist? Has he revealed truths? What's the meaning of life?". Questions everyone throughout time has thought. That's really what's at the heart of the issue. What you truly believe, not what direction external pressures pull you.

Like I said, I'd be willing to bet that in Pakistan, the younger generation is partially atheist secretly in their brains, while paying lip service to Mohammed so that Mom and Dad won't be mad. Also others in a different category, questioning whether Islam is correct, or questions about Christianity.
Last edited by In Between Man; Jul 8th, 2009 at 01:27 AM..Reason: d
 
In Between Man
#144
Quote: Originally Posted by SirJosephPorterView Post

I tolerate Christian premise the Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. But only for Christians.

So, if by your logic its perfectly valid that Christianity is the way, the truth, and the life that would mean if I die I go to heaven?

But if you die, you simply cease to exist, because it wasn't the "way" for you. It was all true, "but only for some", not for you? That contradictory. Explain yourself.

If I die SJP, don't I simply cease to exist?
 
AnnaG
#145
Quote: Originally Posted by alleywayzalwayzView Post

Is it wrong to torture babies? Is it wrong to sexually exploit a child?

Straight across the board. Yes or No?

In my experience yes, those things are wrong. Yet, as recent as this Template (external - login to view) it appears to be acceptable to torture kids. Look here: Article: "One Form of Socially Sanctioned Infant Torture: Maternal Deprivation" (external - login to view)
There's a place near here called Bountiful where old men find it quite acceptable to have underaged wives. So given that there are recent examples of completely opposite "morals" from mine and other people, they are hardly absolute.

Quote:

Let me check with the moral standard within. Um...yup, unequivocally wrong.

That comment is wrong.
 
AnnaG
#146
Quote: Originally Posted by alleywayzalwayzView Post

The atheistic view asserts that only materials exist,

Sorry. That's wrong. Is energy a material? Are concepts materials? Ideas? Emotions?
Quote:

but materials don’t have morality.

I have to agree there, but who knows for sure. Some people didn't used to think Africans were human.
Quote:

How much does hate weigh? Is there an atom for love? What’s the chemical composition of the murder molecule?

Is hate a material? I don't know which atheist you would refer to that does not recognize hate, love, etc.
Quote:

These questions are meaningless because physical particles are not responsible for morality.

You're right. There are energies involved. Just about everything that happens in the human body is a result of electrochemical reaction.
Quote:

If materials are solely responsible for morality, then Hitler had no real moral responsibility for what he did—he just had bad molecules. This is nonsense, and everyone knows it.

Exactly. Your assumptions are nonsensical.
Quote:

Human thoughts and transcendent moral laws are not material things any more than the laws of logic and mathematics are material things. They are immaterial entities that cannot be weighed or physically measured. As a result, they can’t be explained in material terms by natural selection or any other atheistic means.

Again you seem to insist that atheists do not accept thoughts, logic, mathematics exist.
What you been smokin', man? I want some.
 
AnnaG
#147
Quote: Originally Posted by alleywayzalwayzView Post

Here's a really good one AnnaG!!!

Is it wrong to suppress AnnaG's freedom of Speech????!!!!

Checkmate.

Not in my experience. But others may not agree with me.
I'd cream you in chess.
 
In Between Man
#148
Quote: Originally Posted by AnnaGView Post

There's a place near here called Bountiful where old men find it quite acceptable to have underaged wives. So given that there are recent examples of completely opposite "morals" from mine and other people, they are hardly absolute.

You don't understand what absolute means. Is it absolutely wrong or not? Just because those men justify it, and do it, DOESN'T MAKE IT RIGHT. Not at that moment, not under any circumstance. Otherwise, enjoy finding yourself on side agreeing with same old men you judge.
 
In Between Man
#149
Quote: Originally Posted by AnnaGView Post

Not in my experience. But others may not agree with me.

What are you talking about? If someone prevented you from speaking out for what you believe in, would you not be morally outraged??? Would you not think your oppressor was ABSOLUTELY WRONG in what he was doing???

Quote:

I'd cream you in chess.

Dream on sister.
 
In Between Man
#150
Quote: Originally Posted by AnnaGView Post

Exactly. Your assumptions are nonsensical.

No, what's nonsensical is trying to explain away naturally how Hitler wasn't wrong, he just had the "evil" gene.

Quote:

What you been smokin', man? I want some.

Oh I would so out smoke you too! And then methodically destroy you at chess.
Last edited by In Between Man; Jul 8th, 2009 at 02:00 AM..Reason: d
 

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